A Letter to Our Readers

A Letter to Our Readers

DWF Board Members

Dear Concerned World Citizen,

I am writing you today for several reasons, and with a sense of urgency. I’d like to give you an update on our work, discuss how our world federalist message can help defeat terrorism and solve the climate crisis, and also ask for your help.

I find it appalling that today’s fastest growing international political movement is ISIS, a terrorist organization. Their ideology is one of hate, ignorance, and death. They slaughter and enslave anyone they consider an outsider or infidel. They now control a good amount of territory and have resources such as oil, money, and guns. They are masters of recruitment using social media. They have organizations in 12 countries and are growing. The civilized world needs a strategy to combat this spread of ignorance and barbarism. We need a different mindset that appeals to the rational and tolerant majority of people around the world.

Building a democratic world federation to handle such dangerous challenges is now urgently needed. Aggrieved peoples, especially in the Middle East, have nowhere to turn for justice, no binding world courts or enforceable global law that they may use to resolve conflicts and pursue peacemaking. We need a system where all international conflicts can be resolved with law rather than by violence. The current system of American intervention has failed to produce stable democracies in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, or Syria. We need to move to a system of international responsibility and individual accountability before the law in order to prevent failed states and meet other pressing crises.

Most people in the world have never heard of or thought of the concepts of democratic world federalism. But ours is an ideology that is open to all nations, peoples, religions, and ethnicities. As you know, world federalism is currently a concept held by a small group of intellectuals and activists. Our challenge is to bring these concepts to the broader world and to build a movement that will dwarf terrorist and nationalist ideologies, and for this work I need your help more than ever.

With the recent terror attacks in Paris, Lebanon, and the Sinai there is a coming together of the civilized world to fight ISIS and radical Islam. Russia and America are working toward a joint strategy to combat terrorism. Muslim countries and populations in Europe are condemning the attacks and hopefully will fully engage in the fight against ISIS and similar groups. Fighting ISIS requires the capture and control of territory they hold and cutting off of money to the organization. The strategy of bombing only and containment has failed to produce results. The terrorists must not be allowed to find a safe haven in any country or to receive funds from any outside source. They are thriving in the places where civil war has left a vacuum, such as Syria, Iraq, and Libya. These countries must be stabilized by the international community. The military defeat of ISIS and the rebuilding of the countries they occupy should be done by a coalition of as many countries as possible, and it is especially important to involve Sunni Arab countries. An empowered United Nations is the best organization to help coordinate such an immense project and to help in the transition to stability and democracy after a military victory. Because jihadists have cells in many countries, a vigorous and coordinated international effort to identify and arrest potential terrorist before they strike is needed. This effort will need to involve a great deal more participation of the international community and in particular the Muslim community. Greater unity and coordination of effort of the international civilized community will defeat terrorism.

As humans we have been programmed by evolution to have an allegiance to our tribe and to consider outsiders as the “other” or as our enemy. We have expanded our definition of our tribe to now mean swearing allegiance to our nation. In many parts of the world and particularly in the Middle East the allegiance is to one’s religious or ethnic group rather than to the nation. The most urgent task that is necessary for our survival is for the majority of civilized humans to pledge allegiance to humanity rather than any one religious, ethnic group or nation. This social evolution is now possible because of our global inter-connectedness and interdependence. We need a message to engage the decent members of society, one that will drown out the negative message of ISIS. It is by energizing the rational majority of global society that a new political movement and paradigm can be created.

We must seize the day. This is our time to help the world move to greater human unity and tolerance by building a viable and dynamic organization to promote a world ruled by just democratic law rather than force. American politicians often say America cannot be the world’s policeman and I agree, but policing is needed. When there is a crisis, an international coordinated response is best; even better would be to have a world legislature and world courts to deal with the crisis according to law and justice meted out on behalf of all of humanity.

Since my last letter we have seen several positive developments:

  • Due in part to the report of the commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance, the forces for change at the United Nations are growing. Our movement is working to use this opportunity to further democratize the UN, making it more able to fulfill its vision,
  • The Democratic World Federalist board has agreed to closer coordination with Citizens for Global Solutions and plan to work on joint projects in the coming year,
  • Our President, Bob Flax, represented us at the World Federalist Movement Council Meeting held at the United Nations. Our application for full Member Organization status will allow us to send more delegates to future meetings, having more influence on WFM’s policies,
  • Andrea Kischkat, an intern and doctoral student based in New York City, has joined our team.

Your continued support will help us spread the message of how to achieve a peaceful, just, and sustainable world.  In 2016, with your help we plan to:

  • Increase our public speaking at schools and other organizations throughout the SF Bay Area,
  • Improve our website and newsletter to educate more people and grow our membership,
  • Explore the relocation of our office to a location with other social justice and environmental organizations near the University of California, Berkeley Campus.  This will put is in the heart of a student activist population.

Please call, email, or mail now to volunteer your time and skills, or make a tax deductible donation to help us amplify our message.


Jerry Tetalman
DWF Development Director


How to Transform the Security Council

How to Transform the Security Council

Schwartzberg+BookDistinguished world federalist scholar Joseph E. Schwartzberg has never been short on proposals for transforming the United Nations. See for example his important books that cover all aspects of such reforms, notably such titles as Transforming the UN System. Not only that, but his Workable World Trust is convening an impressive conference at the University of Minnesota in October called “Creating a Workable World,” which features the likes of UNPA founder Andreas Bummel and William Pace, Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement. And now, in a recent article, Professor Schwartzberg especially goes after the UN’s Security Council, calling it “an unrepresentative, undemocratic and anachronistic agency,” and offering a sweeping new approach. He proposes that a reformed UN should allocate Security Council membership primarily on a regional basis. This could entail the creation of “twelve regions, each with one seat and a rationally determined weighted vote.” Three of these regions would consist of single nations, these being world’s three most populous states: China, India and the United States. The other nine regions would be aggregations of numerous nations whose population would roughly equal those of the big three nations. We recommend reading this intriguing essay, which makes his strong case for reform of this crucial institution.

NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.